Notes & Reviews:
The last great work from the glorious era of the Imperial ballets has never before been performed by the La Scala ballet. Based on a medieval legend, the libretto had all the ingredients needed to spark the imagination of the young Alexander Glazunov in his first ballet score. Marius Petipa complemented it with an enormously rich and endless succession of dances, classical variations, exotic dances and character dances, with a grandiose finale, lyrical pas de deux and a heavily featured corps de ballet. Drawing on notation from the Harvard archives, La Scala presents the last great work from the glory days of the Imperial Ballet.
A lavish production; a feast for the eye; with marvellous dancing from the principals especially Olesia Novikova as Raymonda - her dancing always poised and assured, expressive, elegant and graceful - her point work is awesome.
Run Time: 154 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1
With several additional mime scenes, the plot of Raymonda is now easier to follow, though it is still the same, thin plot as in other productions. The costumes and sets are all brightly colored and dazzling to the eye. Choreographically, I think this ballet is dated, and the dozens of character and corps de ballet dances tend to bore the viewer.
As for the dancers, Olesia Novikova is absolutely stunning, the ideal of a Russian ballet dancer. Friedemann Vogel and Mick Zeni have very little to do, but they do their roles admirably. The corps de ballet tends to be slightly sloppy at times, and it is evident that some of the dancers have no idea what character dance is; they stick out in the dances of the final scene.
Of course, the music isn't dated at all, still that near-perfect ballet score, despite being a little long for today's tastes.
For the most part, the video recording was good, besides some irritable moments during Raymonda's variation in the last scene, and those of various close-ups in other parts of the ballet.
In my opinion, this ballet has proved to be very typical of La Scala - the stars are extremely better than the rest of the dancers (particularly Novikova), and the demi-soloists are completely lacking, while the corps de ballet has an inclination on sloppiness. I'd recommend this DVD to fans of Raymonda and Novikova, and those who have a genuine interest in the 'original' choreography. For a more exciting version, I'd point to Bolshoi's Raymonda, with Lyudmilla Semenyaka.
Submitted on 06/15/12 by danrubin06
Works DetailsGlazunov, Alexander : Raymonda, Op. 57
- Performers: Mick Zeni (Dancer); Friedemann Vogel (Dancer); Olesia Novikova (Dancer)
- Conductor: Michail Jurowski
- Ensemble: Teatro alla Scala Ballet
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Ballet
- Written: 1896-1897